St. Kitts-Nevis’ CMO urges people with respiratory symptoms to stay home in case of COVID-19 outbreak

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 18, 2020 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Hazel Laws, has recommended that in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, people who are displaying respiratory symptoms should remain at home.

Dr. Laws said this during her presentation at a COVID-19 Informational Staff Session for all workers within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development and Transport, which took place on the grounds of the Water Services Department at Needsmust on March 17.

The CMO said, “If you are ill, and you pick it up and you are coughing and sneezing, you need to practice proper cough etiquette in terms of coughing in your flex elbow, a tissue or more importantly a facemask or a surgical mask that you can put on to protect your loved ones from getting it.”

“If you do cough and sneeze, you need to wash your hands properly and that reduces the risk of you spreading it or transmitting it to persons who are close,” Dr. Laws said.

The Chief Medical Officer emphasised that the utilisation of masks alone will not be sufficient protection from the virus because “you can wear a mask and still pick up infection if you do not wear it appropriately.”

Additionally, she said, “The use of disposable gloves should be considered based on your job, your role, your task. If you are a cashier, and you are working in the public sector … your superiors should consider the use of disposable gloves in order to reduce the risk of you the employee.”

She also advised that persons should avoid touching the face, especially around the eyes and mouth area because it increases the risk of that person contracting the virus.

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